Michael Nesmith Thomas Jefferson high Class of 1961

Michael Nesmith (Illustration by Brian Smith)

What He’s Up to Now:
Michael Nesmith returns to the stage this month with two concerts in California, where he’ll perform the First National Band tunes that made him one of country-rock’s founding fathers. Nesmith also co-founded Videoranch, a virtual website that features films and live music videos.

Three things to know

1) He has a longstanding bromance with Jack Nicholson
Nesmith met the then-aspiring actor through a mutual friend, and the two instantly bonded. “I thought he was the coolest guy, and since this was long before the term bromance entered the U.S. lexicon, some people in my crowd of friends thought my fascination with him was beyond the pale,” Nesmith wrote in his autobiography “Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff.” Nicholson often visited the Monkees on set and even co-wrote the band’s controversial 1968 film “Head.” Nesmith was pals with John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash, too.

2) His mother invented Liquid Paper
Bette Nesmith Graham was an executive secretary for Texas Bank and Trust’s board chairman W.W. Overton when she concocted Liquid Paper using water-based paint in a kitchen blender. General Electric was her first corporate customer in 1958. The company grew rapidly under her direction until 1979, when she sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Company for $47.5 million.

3) Nesmith is, in part, the reason MTV exists
Nesmith pitched the TV show “Pop Clips” to Warner Bros. in the late 1970s. The program, considered the precursor to MTV, highlighted music videos created for pop songs.

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